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Indie Console Developers wouldn’t exist without Xbox 360

by William Schwartz

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Microsoft was instrumental in furthering the independent game development scene, according to Castle Crashers developer John Baez.  In a recent interview, the developer at The Behemoth had nothing but praise for the company when talking about their role in helping smaller developers get a foothold in the hyper-competitive industry.

“I think without a doubt the indie console community would not exist as it does today if Xbox Live Arcade had been dropped after the original Xbox iteration.  No other console hardware manufacturer has had the success of downloadable games that XBLA has had.  And many smaller developers have shared in that success,” Baez said in a recent interview with OXM.

Microsoft has seen huge success with independent XBLA titles this generation.  Minecraft on Xbox 360 is one of the best selling games of the year, and most popular in terms of user activity on the Xbox Live network.  They also have seen big titles like Bastion, Super Meat Boy, Fez, and Baez’s own Castle Crashers on the network.

Not everyone shares the same viewpoints as Baez however.  Team Meat has been vocal about the problems that they’ve faced on the console when releasing their popular platformer Super Meat Boy, saying that they would likely never work with the company again after problems they incurred following the launch of their game.

Whatever the individual experience may have been, Microsoft has certainly changed the game for indie developers on consoles, with Sony and Nintendo also following suit.  The recent launch of the Wii U has seen a new committment to indie content on the console.  With developers praising Nintendo’s more open and cost effective manner of handling developers who want to bring their games to the console.

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